What jobs did U.S. presidents have before becoming commander in chief?

HISTORY

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Michael Moraitis

6 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

All presidents had some pretty important jobs before seeking the most powerful office on the planet. Can you guess these presidents by the jobs they had before the presidency? Take this U.S. presidents quiz and find out!

He was a surveyor, planter and general of the Army of the United Colonies.

After his days in the presidency, George Washington spent time as the lieutenant-general of all the U.S. armies. He also continued being a planter.

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He was an oil executive, owner of the Texas Rangers and the governor of Texas.

Bush became a public speaker after his days in office, and also wrote a book called "Decision Points."

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He was a lawyer and the governor of Arkansas.

Clinton became an ambassador and a writer. He joined forces with George H.W. Bush to raise relief funds for disaster victims. Clinton is one of two U.S. presidents to be impeached.

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He was a journalist, U.S. congressman and U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

Unfortunately, JFK died in office. He is one of four presidents to be assassinated while in office.

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He was a movie actor and the governor of California.

Reagan's filmography includes "Knute Rockne, All American," "Bedtime for Bonzo" and "Murder in the Air." He became a writer after serving two terms in office.

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He was a writer, inventor, architect, governor of Virginia, secretary of state under George Washington and vice president under John Adams.

Jefferson defeated Adams in the election of 1800, becoming the third president. After his days in office, Jefferson was a writer, farmer and rector at the University of Virginia.

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He was supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe, as well as the U.S. Army chief of staff.

The people liked Ike so much, he was elected to two terms. He spent his days as a writer after the presidency.

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He was a community organizer, constitutional law professor and U.S. senator from Illinois.

The 44th U.S. president was also a civil rights lawyer and Illinois state senator. His second term in the White House ended in early 2017, so we're still waiting to see what the former president picks up.

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He was a lawyer and the governor of New York.

FDR was elected to four terms, the only president ever to accomplish such a feat. He died before finishing his fourth term.

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He was a schoolteacher, lawyer, diplomat and vice president under George Washington.

Our second president, Adams, lost re-election to Thomas Jefferson and retired to Massachusetts where he was a writer.

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He was a lawyer, U.S. congressman, U.S. senator and vice president under Eisenhower.

The 37th U.S. president was the only one to ever resign from office. He was never impeached.

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He was a farmer, soldier, judge, U.S. senator, vice president under FDR, and even a haberdasher.

Don't know what a haberdasher is? Why, it's a men's clothing dealer, of course.

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He was a rancher, soldier, assistant secretary of the Navy, leader of the Rough Riders and vice president under William McKinley.

Roosevelt was also the governor of New York. He spent his time as a hunter and writer after two terms in office.

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He was a commanding general of the U.S. Army during the Civil War.

Grant was promoted to the special rank of general in chief by Lincoln. He was at the helm of the Army when the Union defeated the Confederacy for good in 1865.

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He was a lawyer, diplomat, professor, senator, secretary of state under James Monroe, and the son of a former U.S. president.

The Adams father and son combo, along with George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, are the only father-son pairings to be president.

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He was a tailor, congressman, governor of Tennessee, senator from Tennessee and vice president under Abraham Lincoln.

Johnson became president after the assassination of Lincoln in 1865. He is one of only two presidents to be impeached.

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He was a lawyer, congressman and governor from Virginia, and vice president under William Henry Harrison.

Tyler assumed the office of U.S. president after the death of William Henry Harrison. Tyler later became chancellor of the College of William and Mary and a member of the Confederate House of Representatives.

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He was a soldier, Tennessee congressman and senator, and governor of Florida.

Jackson spent his days as a farmer after the presidency. He is set to be replaced by Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill in the future.

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He was an oil executive, director of the CIA and vice president under Ronald Reagan.

Bush also spent time as a U.S. congressman and ambassador to the U.N. He has since teamed with fellow former president Bill Clinton to create tsunami and Hurricane Katrina relief funds.

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He was a peanut farmer and governor of Georgia.

Carter has since become a writer, humanitarian and Nobel-prize-winning statesman. He received just 49 electoral college votes in the 1980 election.

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He was a lawyer, congressman and vice president under Richard Nixon.

Ford took office after the resignation of Nixon, but was unable to win re-election. He was mainly a writer after his days in the White House.

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He was a schoolteacher, soldier, congressman, senator from Texas and vice president under John F. Kennedy.

Johnson assumed the office following the assassination of JFK. He was a writer and rancher after his term and a half in office.

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He was a lawyer, political theorist, congressman and secretary of state under Thomas Jefferson.

Like Jefferson, Madison became a rector at the University of Virginia. He was the fourth U.S. president.

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He was a soldier, lawyer, senator and governor of Virginia.

After his days in the White House, Monroe became a regent at the University of Virginia, as well as a writer.

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He was a lawyer, senator, governor of New York and vice president under Andrew Jackson.

Van Buren spent his time as an activist for the Free Soil Party, a group made up of mostly Whig and Democratic Party members who opposed the expansion of slavery.

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He was a postmaster, lawyer and congressman from Illinois.

Lincoln is one of two men to become president after serving as a postmaster. Truman was the other.

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He was a newspaper editor and a senator from the state of Ohio.

Harding is one of eight U.S. presidents to die in office. His cause of death was a sudden heart attack in 1923.

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He was a lawyer, governor of Massachusetts and the vice president under Warren G. Harding.

Coolidge later became a writer and president of the Antiquarian Society. He wrote an autobiography and had a newspaper column.

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He was a lawyer, professor, president of Princeton University and governor of New Jersey.

Wilson and a partner had created a law firm, but the 28th U.S. president was unable to contribute much, due to his failing health. He died in 1924.

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He was an engineer and a U.S. secretary of commerce under Warren G. Harding.

Hoover later became the chair of the Hoover Commission, a body dedicated to reforming the United States government.

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He was a sheriff, lawyer, mayor and governor of New York.

Cleveland is the only U.S. president to win two non-consecutive terms. He also served as a trustee of Princeton University from 1901 until his death.

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He was a schoolteacher, lawyer, tariff collector and vice president under James Garfield.

Arthur became president after the assassination of Garfield. He practiced law following his days in office.

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He was a lawyer, congressman and vice president under Zachary Taylor.

Fillmore was known as a rogue political activist after leaving office. He was also chancellor of the University of Buffalo.

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He was a lawyer, congressman, and senator from Pennsylvania, as well as a U.S. secretary of state.

Buchanan turned to writing after serving as president. Seven southern states seceded from the Union during his only term.

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He was a lawyer, judge, dean of the University of Cincinnati Law School and a U.S. secretary of war.

Taft wasn't done after his presidency. He later became a professor and then chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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